Goku (孫 悟空Son Gokū) is the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball metaseries created by Akira Toriyama. He is the adoptive grandson of Grandpa Gohan, the husband of Chi-Chi, the father of Gohan and Goten, the grandfather of Pan, and later great-great grandfather of Goku Jr. Goku is a defender of Earth and informally leads the Z Fighters. Throughout his life, he trains hard and strives to be the greatest warrior possible, while at the same time using his amazing strength and skills to uphold peace. These qualities make him the perfect example of a hero, though not necessarily the perfect role model, due to his lack of education. Goku means aware of emptiness (The 'Go' syllable means enlightenment, and the 'Ku' syllable means Sky or Emptiness). Goku's full name (Son Goku) is the Japanese name for Sun Wukong, main protagonist in the Chinese legend Journey to the West, off of whom Goku is loosely based. Goku himself started off as more or less a parody of Sun Wukong, and as the manga continued its run he was able to develop differently, eventually turning out to have similar origins. Goku's design was based off of Tanton, of Toriyama's prototype manga Dragon Boy and Tongpoo, from his other manga The Adventures of Tongpoo. When Akira Toriyama started his first draft of Dragon Ball he originally planned on making Goku full monkey to make it faithful to Journey to the West. During Toriyama's second draft he wanted to make Goku a full human dressed in sailor clothes that rode a flight mecha instead of the Flying Nimbus. Toriyama's 3rd and final draft of Goku was to have him human looking with a monkey tail.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Goku is the main character in the entire Dragon Ball series. With spiky black hair and his trademark orange/red/golden and blue clothes, Goku is known for his cheerful, energetic personality and his love of competition (specifically sport fighting and eating). He has remarkable intuition at seeing the good in others in spite of their actions, though his capacity for forgiving his enemies has occasionally been criticized as excessive; Goku, for the most part, only fights to win, and spares his enemies after defeating them only for them to attack him when his back is turned. His staggering power is simultaneously reined in and enhanced by his fierce loyalty and morality. He has a simple, practical view of the world and is somewhat naive to the world around him. Because of this, many characters incorrectly assume him to be somewhat stupid, although once he has a basic understanding of things, he learns very quickly. His most remarkable ability is his will to succeed, pushing himself beyond his limitations, and never giving up even when the odds are stacked against him.
During his childhood, a recurring gag in the series was that Goku was incapable of telling the difference between a man and a woman without physically touching them, which often got him into trouble. The most notable of these occurrences was when he first met Chi-Chi, where she pushed him off of the Flying Nimbus after he patted her genitals with his foot; and in the scene where he removed Bulma's panties while she slept and was horrified to discover that she had no testicles (which was also adapted in the movie Dragon Ball: The Path to Power). He eventually outgrew this once old enough to understand the difference.
Goku is shown to suffer from severe trypanophobia, or the fear of medical needles, but this only occurs in the anime. He showed his fear for them twice in Dragon Ball Z, and three times during Dragon Ball GT. The first time was after his battle with Vegeta, and when he was taken to the hospital. The second time he showed his fear of needles was after the fight with Captain Ginyu on Namek, while he was on his way to recover in a rejuvenation tank. InDragon Ball GT, it was shown when Goku, Pan, and Trunks brought an injured boy to the Hospital Planet of the universe. The second time, during his first battle against Baby Vegeta, he was blasted into Sogorugo Space, where he witnessed a hologram of Chi-Chi that threw a gigantic needle at him. Lastly, Goku showed his fear after learning from Pan that the four-star Dragon Ball was coming out of his forehead, worrying that he would need a shot.
Kakarot (カカロット, Kakarotto) (renamed Goku on Earth) was born sometime in Age 737 on Planet Vegeta, during a time of great turmoil. Following a Saiyan custom, Goku was sent as a baby to planet Earth, in order to destroy its inhabitants and clear the planet for its future sale. As Earth's inhabitants were thought to be weak, a baby Saiyan was seen as enough for the task, especially after transforming into a Great Ape by Earth's full moon. Goku's father, a low-class Saiyan warrior named Bardock, perished in his home planet's destruction shortly after Goku's departure, and his older brother Raditz was nowhere to be seen. It is unknown what happened to Goku's mother.
After crash-landing on Earth, Goku became the adopted grandson of an old man named Gohan, who found him in the woods and gave him his human name. At first, Goku was extremely violent and ill-tempered, not obeying Gohan at all, but one day he fell down a deep ravine and hit his head, suffering severe head trauma that sent him into a coma and very nearly killed him. After he woke up, he had lost all of his Sayian aggression, becoming a kind and mild-mannered young boy. His Grandpa Gohan taught him martial arts and told him about such things as the city and people, as they lived in a very remote place in Mount Paozu, with no communication with other people. Gohan one day discovered Goku's full moon transformation, and thus told him to never look at the full moon. However, one night Goku did, and he transformed into a Great Ape, causing him to unknowingly kill Gohan. After his grandpa's death, Goku stayed at his home, carrying out his daily life of survival. From a young age, Goku developed the impression that his birth parents abandoned him in the mountains as a baby, leaving him for Grandpa Gohan to discover.
Goku is introduced in the Dragon Ball manga and anime at approximately 11 or 12 years of age (initially, he claims to be 14, but it is later clarified during the Tournament Saga that this is because Goku had trouble counting), as a young boy living in obscurity on Mount Paozu. Goku owns the Power Pole and the four-star Dragon Ball, inheritances from his grandfather.
One day after doing his daily chores, Goku was hit by a car when on his way home after fishing a Giant Fish. Having never seen a car before, he assumed it was a monster attacking him. When the driver shot Goku with a gun, she became scared after seeing that it hardly did any damage and surrendered, revealing herself to be a Human girl, named Bulma. Goku states that he has never seen a girl before and that the only human he has seen in his life was his deceased grandfather. Goku takes Bulma to his house, where she ends up discovering his four star Dragon Ball. However, Goku did not want Bulma touching it since it was precious to him, so Bulma decides to let Goku to join her on a quest to collect all seven Dragon Balls to summon the Dragon, not revealing to him that the Dragon Balls would be scattered across the Earth once they succeeded. Later that night, when camping in Bulma's Capsule House, Goku was introduced to various technology such as Television, lights and even a bath. Early the next morning, Goku is surprised when he learns a bit about the anatomy of women after he takes Bulma's underwear off while she was sleeping. Later that morning, Goku meets Turtle, whom he decides to take back to the ocean, forcing Bulma to come along. After defeating a Bear Thief who wanted to eat the turtle, they make it to the beach, where he meets his future master, the turtle hermit, Master Roshi. When the turtle hermit, Master Roshi meets them, he rewards Goku with a flying cloud called the Flying Nimbus, that only allows people of pure heart to ride it, with which Goku had no difficulty. Bulma also received the three star Dragon Ball out of this, in exchange for showing the old horn-dog her underwear (however, she was actually nude, because Goku had pulled them off the night before).
Three days later, Goku and Bulma end up in Aru Village, which was under rule by an evil shape shifter named Oolong, who kidnapped the villagers' daughters. After Goku failed to impersonate Pochawompa in an attempt to find the location of Oolong's hideout, he decides to face Oolong head on. After chasing him outside the village, Goku manages to capture him, forcing Oolong to give the villagers back their daughters. Afterward, they were rewarded the six star Dragon Ball and Oolong was forced to join Goku and Bulma on their quest. While crossing the Diablo Desert on their way to Fire Mountain, Goku fights a bandit named Yamcha, who is friends with a former classmate of Oolong, named Puar. Goku and Yamcha have a duel, and Yamcha is surprised when Goku brings out his Power Pole, learning that he is the grandson of the legendary martial artist, Gohan. After nearly losing to Yamcha's Wolf Fang Fist due to hunger, Bulma awakens, causing Yamcha to flee due to of his fear of women. Later that night Goku and the others stay the night in Oolong's House-Wagon, where Goku tells Oolong about the Dragon Balls while Yamcha and Puar hide outside and listen, also learning of the mystical spheres. The next morning, Goku fights Yamcha again after he destroys the House-Wagon and attempts to rob them. Goku wins the fight and Yamcha, in a false display of apology, gives them a car that secretly has a tracking device for him to follow them.
Two days later, the gang ends up at Fire Mountain, where Goku ends up fighting the Ox-King after he attempted to kill Bulma and Oolong. After Goku summons the Flying Nimbus, the Ox-King stops fighting and tells Goku that the man who gave Goku that cloud was the same master that taught him. In an effort to douse the fire surrounding the Ox-King's castle at the top of the mountain, Goku is sent to retrieve the Bansho Fan from Master Roshi after picking up the Ox-King's daughter, Chi-Chi. When they arrive at Master Roshi's Island, he tells them that he accidentally threw the fan out and decides to come there himself and put out the flames. When they get back to Fire Mountain, Master Roshi uses a technique called the Kamehameha Wave to put out the flames, unfortunately destroying the mountain as well. Much to Master Roshi's surprise, Goku is immediately able to imitate the wave and makes one big enough to destroy their car. While Bulma and Oolong find the Dragon Ball in the rubble, Master Roshi asks that Goku trains with him after finishing his quest for the Dragon Balls.
On their way to the last Dragon Ball, they take a break at a town which is ruled by a gang known as the Rabbit Mob. While there, Goku and Bulma get into trouble with the Rabbit Mob, but Goku defeats their leader, Monster Carrot with the help of Yamcha. When they get back on the road, they are attacked by a robot piloted by Shu, who steals five of their Dragon Balls. Luckily, though, Goku insisted on keeping his four-star ball with him instead of with the rest of the Dragon Balls. Yamcha gives them a lift to Pilaf's Castle to get them back. However, once they arrive, they get locked in a room filled with sleeping gas, where Goku's four-star Dragon Ball is stolen. When they wake up, an emperor named Pilaf summons Shenron and tries to use the wish to rule the world, but his plan is foiled when Oolong interferes and wishes for a pair of panties after getting out from a small hole made by Goku's Kamehameha. After trying to escape, the gang is placed into a special cell that will fry them when the sun comes out. Goku ends up looking at the full moon that night, causing him to turn into a Great Ape and destroys the cell, along with the rest of Pilaf's castle. Seeing Goku out of control in the ape form, Yamcha has Puar turn into a pair of scissors and cut Goku's tail off, causing him to revert back to his normal form. The next morning, Oolong begins to speculate that Goku is not a Human, raising the question of whether he is "some kinda space alien."
After finishing his quest for the Dragon Balls, Goku leaves Bulma and the others in order to train with Master Roshi. Roshi agrees to train Goku, but only if he finds him a pretty girl. After failing to bring him a decent girl, another wannabe student named Krillin comes by and assists Goku. After fighting off some Police officers they finally return with a girl with a split personality named Launch.
Roshi then brings Goku and Krillin to his special Training Island to train them. They were put through very strange training that seemed like it had nothing to do with martial arts, such as milk delivering and construction work, all while wearing very heavy Turtle Shells. After the hard work, the two develop into two of the most powerful fighters on Earth. After 8 months of training, Roshi brought them to Papaya Island to compete in the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament to test their training. Upon their arrival, Goku was reunited with his friends Bulma, Yamcha, Oolong and Puar. Goku got through the elimination rounds easily without even trying (even he was surprised at his remarkable new power) and made it to the main tournament.